Coming Out of Caves

1 Samuel 22:1-5


From their formation as a nation, God’s special favor had rested upon Israel, but like nagging children, the people begged God to give them a king so they could be “like all the other nations.”

When God turned them over to their own desire, difficult days precipitated that resulted in civil war. Their first king Saul changed from a naïve young man into a full-blown psychotic maniac.

Judging from mere outward appearance, Saul looked handsome. But when he rose to power, his insecurity manifested. He failed to fully obey God and his need for control led him to disregard the wise counsel of Samuel, the aging prophet. 

Insecurity is a character defect difficult to locate initially and even more difficult to successfully confront. Power and insecurity is a lethal cocktail. Soon subjects under its control realize it as the launching pad for jealousy, obsession, demonic activity and murder.

Humility and genuine repentance avert this potentiality. Usually however, failed confrontation leads to rejection that deepens the taproot of insecurity.   

God rejected Saul! It became public that the anointing of the Holy Spirit for leadership lifted from him and transferred to David, “a man after God’s own heart.” Until he took his own life, Saul vacillated between moments of clarity and dark clouds of severe depression. In that cycle, he sought to exterminate his perceived opposition.     

During the days of transition David was hidden from the public eye in the Cave of Adullam. Notice the condition of the 400 men who found him in the cave:

1.     Disconnected-isolated and alone

2.     Distressed-anxiety and sorrow

3.     In Debt-under obligation and without forgiveness

4.     Discontent-dissatisfaction and bitterness of soul

From this ragtag gathering, God would create a new government under David’s leadership.

Not to over spiritualize, but usually we find Jesus, the Son of David, in some cave while we are suffering from one of the aforementioned conditions. 

Such is the case of those who have attended our Discovery Groups since 1992. When we started our first Discovery Group, I identified with every condition. I was isolated in my alcoholism and disconnected from God’s people. I suffered from depression. I was in debt financially and was in desperate need of receiving and offering forgiveness. I languished in bitterness of soul and had no peace. In these conditions I found the Son of David. I completely joined Him with my whole heart! He became my true King and advancing His Kingdom became my life’s mission.

5.     Depart, do not remain in this cave! Leave and start a journey

 David received a word from the Lord to get out! The “cave mentality” lasts for a season, but eventually gives way to God’s bigger picture for mankind.

Endlessly nurturing our hurts keeps us in the prison of our condition. We may feel “safe” there, but we also fear reentering the world that led to our conditions. This step of faith requires courage.

For David, Saul was still going about like a roaring lion. Self-preservation is a strong human instinct. Hiding is normal for mere men. But David was no mere man; he was God’s anointed leader!

Consider Asa’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 14:11

O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against You!

The Apostle Paul echoes this sentiment of faith in 1 Corinthians 3. He says in effect, men are carnal, but you are not mere men! 

I have found that cave dwellers seldom emerge into their fullest spiritual potential. Abiding in a safe place for a season is reassuring and helpful, but it can become a place of passivity and introspective. There is a time to depart.

The real success of Discovery Family Ministries is realized when we come out of our cave and exercise faith in our anointed calling.